Government Investigations, Examinations, and Enforcement

Government Investigations, Examinations, and EnforcementLawyers in Hudson Cook's Government practice area provide experienced support to consumer financial services companies and other clients facing government scrutiny. These lawyers have, in the aggregate, decades of experience as private practitioners, in-house counsel, and counsel for federal agencies - including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) - offering valuable perspective to matters for which clients engage us.

Investigations

Since 2012, we have represented clients in more than 50 government investigations, involving a variety of consumer finance markets. Defending clients under government investigation demands unique skills, strategies, and substantive knowledge. Our experience in consumer financial services regulation and our familiarity with state and federal regulatory agencies help us work towards efficient resolution of government actions. Whether it be narrowing the scope and burden of investigations, identifying and correcting regulators' misperceptions, or eliminating ill-conceived claims or investigations, we have been there. Representative engagements include:

  • a CFPB investigation of a large installment lender for alleged unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices (UDAAPs) that was closed with no action by the CFPB;
  • a CFPB investigation regarding mortgage advertising claims that resulted in no action by the CFPB
  • CFPB investigations of auto finance and buy-here-pay here companies for alleged UDAAPs or violations of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and other laws;
  • FTC investigations of auto dealers for alleged deceptive practices in connection with credit advertising;
  • an FTC investigation involving online lead generation and alleged deceptive practices that was closed with no action by the FTC;
  • Investigations by State Attorneys General and regulators for alleged UDAAP and state law violations; and
  • Investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) of auto finance companies pursuant to the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act, ECOA, and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Enforcement

Enforcement actions arise when a supervisory or investigative matter cannot be resolved informally. We usher clients through the enforcement process, working with them through settlement negotiations, litigation and appeals, and otherwise advocating for their interests. Representative engagements include:

  • Defending CFPB district court litigation against an auto finance company relating to military lending practices;
  • Defending a mortgage company in CFPB litigation to enforce a Civil Investigative Demand, at the district court level and on appeal;
  • Defending auto title companies in CFPB administrative adjudications; and
  • Negotiation of settlement agreements with the CFPB, FTC, DOJ, and state agencies on behalf of a variety of consumer financial services providers, including auto finance companies, auto dealers, small dollar lenders, debt collectors, and others.

Examinations

Examinations involve an extended process that demands careful preparation, quick responses, and effective remedial action. We assist clients in preparing for examinations by scrutinizing and evaluating the effectiveness of an organization's Compliance Management System. During examinations, we help clients respond to inquiries and otherwise navigate the examination process with an eye toward resolving issues informally through the supervisory process. When regulators identify violations of law, we advocate for non-public resolutions through responses to CFPB Potential Action and Request for Response (PARR) Letters or similar notices. Representative engagements include:

  • Drafting CFPB PARR Letter responses for auto finance companies, small dollar lenders, and others, in some cases resulting in no public enforcement action and the elimination of supervisory findings;
  • Assisting banks and service providers in preparing for and responding to OCC, Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, and state prudential regulators' examinations;
  • Assisting consumer financial services providers in preparing for CFPB supervision and in navigating CFPB examinations; and
  • Crafting remediation plans and corrective actions in anticipation of, or in response to, examinations.

Attorneys Practicing in this Area

Partner
202.327.9705    
Partner
202.327.9711    
Partner
202.327.9718    
Partner
202.327.9704    
Associate
202.715.2007    
Partner
202.715.2008    
Partner
202.327.9710    
Partner
202.327.9700    
Partner
202.715.2002    
Partner
423.490.7563    
Partner
202.327.9716